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Waivers and Variances: Health and Residential Care Providers

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) may grant a waiver or variance if it finds that the request will not adversely affect the health, safety, or welfare of any client, resident, or patient.


  • Waiver: An exception from a requirement identified in the applicable chapter of the Wisconsin administrative code.
  • Variance: An alternative requirement in place of a requirement identified in the applicable chapter of the Wisconsin administrative code.

Provider-specific information

Applying for a waiver or variance may differ, depending on the type of provider. Select a provider category to learn how to submit a request or to find other related information.

Adult day care centers

Assisted living (also includes information about approvals and exceptions)

  • Adult family homes
  • Community-based residential facilities
  • Residential care apartment complexes

Behavioral health

  • Mental health treatment programs
  • Substance abuse treatment programs

Home health agency



Nurse aide programs

  • Nurse aide training programs
  • Nurse aide federal employment eligibility renewal

Long-term care

  • Nursing homes
  • Facilities serving people with developmental disabilities

Personal care agency

Life Safety Code waiver

In some cases, a facility may request a waiver of certain federal Life Safety Code (LSC) provisions. Find the requirements in the Federal State Operations Manual, Chapter 2 (PDF). Go to Section 2480 – LSC Waivers.

Wisconsin commercial building code variance

Complete and submit the Petition for Building Code Variance, F-62537 (Word) when seeking an alternative method of compliance to a specific building code requirement.

Contact us

Questions? Contact the Division of Quality Assurance (DQA):

Last revised January 17, 2023